The senior essay is a research paper of at least thirty pages prepared under the supervision of a departmental faculty member. It may be written under the rubric of NELC 492(link is external) and/or 493(link is external), or as an extended seminar paper in a departmental seminar, in which case the instructor serves as the essay adviser.
The topic and a prospectus signed by an adviser must be submitted to the DUS by the end of the fourth week of classes in either term of the senior year. The particular subject matter and theoretical approach of the essay are decided by the student after consultation with the faculty adviser.
In cases in which students demonstrably need more time for an extended research paper, the senior essay may be approved as a yearlong course after consultation with the adviser and the DUS. Only those students who have advanced language skills and whose project is considered to be of exceptional promise are eligible. The requirements for the two-term essay are the same as for the one-term essay, except that the essay should be at least sixty pages.
(Hebrew MS 1, Mishneh Torah, Maimonides, Yemen, 1386 CE. Beinecke Library, Yale University)